Africa: African Culture (African food news culture) Folktales

Travel virtually and learn about other places and cultures

If you like honey, fear not the bees. -African Proverb

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Skin Whitening Creams Erasing All Traces of Dark Skin In Africa

Skin Whitening Creams Erasing All Traces of Dark Skin In Africa

Skin Whitening Lightening in Africa
Light, bright and damn near white, skin whitening creams and soaps are popular in Africa among men and women despite cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and mercury poisoning health risks.
Skin Whitening Group of Friends in Africa, for centuries there has been an image that if you are pale or whiter, it means you are pretty.

Skin Whitening Creams In Africa Used For Erasing All Traces of Dark Skin

Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture

Mercury is one of the top ten chemicals of major public health concern however skin whitening and lightening creams and soaps are a billion dollar business in Africa. For centuries there has been an image that if you have pale or whiter skin it means you are prettier or more handsome than you are with dark skin.

The World Health Organization has reported that Nigerians are the highest users of skin whitening and lightening products; 77 percent of Nigerian women use the products on a regular basis. They are followed by Togo 59 percent, South Africa 35 percent, Senegal 27 percent, and Mali 25 percent women reported to use skin lightening products on a regular basis. Studies have found that men are also bleaching their skin.

How skin whitening and lightening creams and soaps work

Mercury is a common ingredient found in skin lightening soaps and creams. Mercury salts inhibit the formation of melanin, resulting in a lighter skin tone. Skin lightening soaps and creams are commonly used in certain African among dark-skinned populations. Skin lightening products come in different forms, including soaps and creams; the soap is often sold as antiseptic soap. These products are supposed to be applied to the skin to dry overnight. It is reported that some women use skin-lightening products for as long as 20 years. The main adverse effect of the inorganic mercury contained in skin lightening soaps and creams is kidney damage. Mercury in skin lightening products may also cause skin rashes, skin discoloration and scarring.

A story by the BBC on Congolese hair stylist Jackson Marcelle says “He has been using special injections to bleach his skin for the past 10 years.” Each injection lasts for six months. Marcelle - known in this busy community as Africa's Michael Jackson - says his mother used to apply creams on him when he was young in order to make him appear "less black".

Black mans hands

The World Health Organization has reported that Nigerians are the highest users of skin-lightening products"I like white people. Black people are seen as dangerous; that's why I don't like being black. People treat me better now because I look like I'm white," he adds.

"I pray every day and I ask God, 'God why did you make me black?' I don't like being black. I don't like black skin," Jackson Marcelle says.

Ugly Dark Skin 

Psychologists say there are also underlying reasons why people bleach their skin - but low self-esteem and, to some degree self-hate, are a common thread. Entrenched in the minds of many Africans from a young age is the adage "if it's white, it's all right", a belief that has chipped away at the self-esteem of millions. Until this changes, no amount of official bans or public information campaigns will stop people risking serious damage to their health in the pursuit of what they think is beauty.

Mercury containing skin lightening products are hazardous to health and as a result have been officially banned in many countries throughout Africa. In 2015 Ivory Coast or Côte d'Ivoire banned all skin-whitening creams and lotions over fears that the cosmetic products can cause long-term health problems.

Côte d'Ivoire is not the first country to impose a ban or take action against the products. In South Africa, products containing more than two percent hydroquinone have been illegal since the 1980s. However, mercury-containing skin lightening products are still widely available on the internet. Also, these products are sometimes illegally smuggled into Africa and sold at local markets in towns and villages. These soaps and creams may contain about 1 - 10 percent of mercury, and just 1 percent mercury levels pose a serious health hazard.

The amount or concentration of mercury in a product may be labelled on the packaging or in the ingredient list.

However, companies selling products that contain mercury, do not always list it as an ingredient.

Names to look for include
· Mercury
· Hg
· Mercuric Iodide
· Mercurous Chloride
· Ammoniated Mercury
· Amide Chloride Of Mercury
· Quicksilver
· Cinnabaris
· Mercury Sulfide
· Hydrargyri Oxydum Rubrum
· Mercury Oxide
· Mercury Iodide
· May Say “Poison”; Directions to avoid contact with silver, gold, rubber, and aluminum

Did you know?
Hg is the chemical symbol of Mercury. Mercury is contained in many products, including: Batteries, Measuring devices such as thermometers and barometers, Electric switches and relays in equipment, Lamps (including some types of light bulbs), Dental amalgam for dental fillings, Skin-lightening products and other cosmetics, and Pharmaceuticals.

Share this page

Friday, November 17, 2017

Zimbabwe Courteous Coup of Current President Robert Mugabe

What's Going On With Zimbabwe Courteous Coup of Current President Robert Mugabe

What's Going On With Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe Executive President Robert Gabriel Mugabe has been in power since December 31, 1987 and his 40-year reign is ending with a courteous coup courtesy of Zimbabwe Army General Chiwenga and staff. However Mugabe as of November 18, 2017 has rejected stepping down as Zimbabwe President, Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe first prime minister, has been the country's only ruler as president since 1987.

What's Going On With Zimbabwe Coup of 93 year old Current President Robert Mugabe In Africa

Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture

Many leaders do not support Mugabe staying in power, saying "We are presidents, we are not monarchs"

Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe first prime minister, has been the country's only ruler as president since 1987 and has dominated the country's political system since independence in 1980. His chaotic land redistribution campaign, which began in 1997 and intensified after 2000, crippled farmers and thus the economy, and ushered in widespread shortages of basic commodities. Ignoring international condemnation, Mugabe was said to have rigged the 2002 presidential election to ensure his reelection.

In 2005, the capital city of Zimbabwe, Harare embarked on Operation Restore Order, supposedly an urban justification program, which resulted in the destruction of the homes or businesses of 700,000 mostly poor supporters of Mugabe opposition party.
A group of Zimbabwe expatriates protest against the dictator Mugabe outside the Zimbabwe embassy.

Mugabe in 2007 instituted price controls on all basic commodities causing panic buying and leaving store shelves empty for months. General elections held in March 2008 contained irregularities where once again Mugabe opposition party protested. Mugabe was reelected president in 2013 in balloting that was severely flawed and internationally condemned. In 2017, Zimbabweans are cautious, but hopeful that, after almost four decades of often-brutal rule, Mugabe who has governed for longer than many of his fellow citizens have been alive could be coming to an end.

Military vehicles were spotted on roads leading to the Zimbabwean capital Harare on Tuesday November 14, sparking rumors that a military coup was in the air. Later, soldiers seized the headquarters of Zimbabwe's national broadcaster ZBC and loud explosions and gunfire were heard.

Major General Sibusiso Moyo then read out a statement on national television, assuring the nation that President Mugabe and his family were safe. The military was only targeting what he called "criminals" around the president, he said, denying that there had been a coup.

According to a government source with direct knowledge of the talks, Mugabe had pushed back on a deal to replace him with an interim leader, arguing there would be a constitutional crisis if he left before his term expired.

On Thursday November 16 Mugabe was pictured smiling as he took part in talks with an army general and South African government ministers at State House but sources suggested he might be resisting pressure to resign. It is clear General Chiwenga and the army is in charge in Zimbabwe. However, in public, Mugabe is still refered to as his Excellency, in Zimbabwean culture; the elderly are treated with respect. Mugabe made his first public appearance since Zimbabwe army took over. The 93-year-old Mugabe had been under house arrest for days. Mugabe walked slowly up a red carpet and joined the crowd in singing the national anthem, then opened the graduation ceremony at Zimbabwe's Open University, where he is chancellor. The event was apparently designed to convey a business-as-usual atmosphere the generals pulling the strings in Harare are desperate not to give the impression they are orchestrating an unconstitutional coup.

The talks with the General Chiwenga and current Zimbabwe President Mugabe have broken down. Frustrated with the lack of progress, the commander of the defense forces, General Chiwenga, set a deadline of Friday for Mugabe to agree to a deal, "or we do it the hard way," the source said. The military has denied that the events of this week amount to a coup, but residents were still unclear as to who is leading the country of Zimbabwe.
A woman waits to be tested at a cholera treatment centre in the Budiriro District, that was badly affected by cholera, in Harare, Zimbabwe

Did you know?
Zimbabwe takes its name from the Kingdom of Zimbabwe of the 13th-15th century and its capital of Great Zimbabwe, the largest stone structure in pre-colonial southern Africa

Share this page

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Growing Apples In Africa

Growing Apples In Africa

Africa Apples,
Homegrown apples are growing well in African countries such as Egypt, Morocco, Southwest Cameroon, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Libya, Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria, Madagascar, Algeria, Tunisia, DR Congo, South Africa, Rwanda, and Zambia.
Fruit stand in Southern Africa

Growing Apples In Africa

Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture

Apples love to grow in African soil.

Apples cannot grow in Africa, this belief as well as many others about Africa are falsehoods. Being predominantly a temperate fruit requiring very low temperatures, the apple fruit has for a long time been considered exotic but yes, Apples are grown commercially for local consumption and export within numerous East, West and Southern African countries. Homegrown apples are growing well in African countries such as Egypt, Morocco, Southwest Cameroon, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Libya, Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria, Madagascar, Algeria, Tunisia, DR Congo, South Africa, Rwanda, and Zambia.

Currently there a more than 1,000 farmers in Kabale Western Uganda who have started growing apples to supply local markets as well as the neighboring Countries of Burundi, DR Congo, Rwanda and Tanzania. During the 2015 production season, Africa accounted for 29 percent of total apple exports from South Africa, which makes Africa the country’s second-largest apple export destination.

The majority of South African apples are grown in the Elgin Valley in the Western Cape South African whose apple exports in Africa are destined for West Africa, Europe and Asia. South African most popular apple varieties are Golden Delicious, which accounts for 75 percent of the total volume shipped. The remaining varieties Starking, Granny Smith, Galas, Pink Lady and Cripps Red make-up the remaining 25 percent of South African apple exports. Fuji apples are also popular.

Apples growing in Uganda Africa

Commercial growing of apple, a major crop in temperate countries, is slowly taking shape in Kenya, as improved varieties are unveiled. Arguably the most famous apple grower in Africa is Peter Wambugu Kago from Nyeri County Kenya who trained as a mechanic after working as a farm hand for several years. At first, Wambugu started by growing coffee, tomatoes, tree tomatoes and passion fruits among other crops on his two acre piece of land but then he decided to try his hand in apple business after he won a bid to supply fruits to Mt Kenya Safari Club in Nanyuki Kenya.

Kuffel Creek Apple Nursery in located in Uganda explains growing apples in Africa as "It is a shock to many people that yes, apples can be grown in a tropical climate, and have been grown by the millions for decades. This goes against the conventional wisdom that apples need between 800-1,000 hours below 7° C. (45° F.) in order to break dormancy and set fruit. However, experience has shown that using tropic apple culture methods can fool the tree into thinking that its chilling-hour needs- whatever they may be- have been satisfied and it will then blossom and fruit. You still must be choosy about which varieties to plant and the tree will act much different from in a cold climate, but the result is crisp, juicy, tasty apples.”

Did you know?
Starking apple variety originated in the USA in the 1920's and was introduced to South Africa in the 1940's. It is a mutation of Red Delicious, and is harvested in early March in South Africa.

Golden Delicious was found as a seedling in West Virginia, USA, in the 1880's and introduced into South Africa in 1930 by Molteno Brothers of Grabouw. Golden delicious is harvested from late February to mid-March in South Africa.

Granny Smith apples derives its name from a real granny Smith, Mrs. Maria Ann Smith, who discovered this seedling in her garden in Australia in the 1860's. The first plantings in South Africa date back to 1919. Granny Smith is in full bloom from middle to late October and is harvested from late March to late April.

Share this page

Chic African Culture Featured Articles

Mental Discovery

The eye never forgets what the heart has seen - African Proverb

African Proverb

African Proverb
A tree without roots cannot survive the wind

Africa is waiting for you

Travel virtually and learn about other places and cultures